HF TIG welder review
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Thread: HF TIG welder review

  1. #1
    Administrator pirate56's Avatar
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    Default HF TIG welder review

    I got a HF tig welder to do an mg 42 build. Being an experienced welder with about 20 years of welding behind me I didn't think that this little red box would be much good. However for the home gunsmith / machinist it is a great little machune. It lacks high frequency which was a turnoff for me at first, but is not really a problem. I had a small miller hf machine and the only difference is you have to scratch start this one. It is a no frills setup but puts out a nice clean, steady arc.
    You get the welder, ground cable & clamp, tig torch with hoses, a few nozzles and collets for the torch. the collets are a little small as I use 3/16" tungstens for most work. the collets are only a couple of bucks. You also get a cable and rod holder for stick welding. It does not come with a regulator, but HF has a decent one for $39.00, you also need to get a plug as it only comes with a power wire.
    I spent an additional $120.00 for a shield, collets, extra nozzles, and some 2% thoriated tungstens, 2 lbs of rod and gloves. I got some wire and cord ends for another $38.00, I rented an 80 cu ft cylinder, the argon was $28.00 and $6.00 a month for the cylinder, so I was TIG welding for about $400.00
    The welder has a 30% duty cycle which means you can weld for 20 minutes an hour at full power of 130 amps. since most work is done at about 1/3 power, and you only weld a couple of minutes at a time it is not a problem.
    There is a current dial to set the amps, an on light and an overheat light. It has auto start and post flow for the gas.
    All in all it is definately worth the money and a lot better than a mig or wire welder for gun work. With a little practice learning to TIG is not that hard and produces clean perfect welds, with no spatter, slag or excess metal.
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    Gunco Rookie kingmidget's Avatar
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    I too purchased a harbor freight tig welder but I haven't figured out what the little threaded pulg that came in the nozzle package is for. Tomorrow I'm going to test run the welder and see what it will do in my hands.

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    hotbarrel's Avatar
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    This item was advertized the exact week AFTER I piad well over $1000 yes thousand to have a TIG set up. and that was a good deal. believe me I would have got on of thies if I know about them . lift arc is not too bad once you get used to it.. I am realy glad to hear a good review becuase I suggested this welder to a few people..
    way good buy . you are tigging with ALL the accesories for the price of a mid range mig how cool is that..

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    hotbarrel's Avatar
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    Kingmidget
    I have not note of advise ,,, do not give up on it rite away .. "play" for an hour. do that a few times at least 3 or 4 times to "get it" do not think it is no so good till you have a few seperate sessions with it .
    I tought a guy at work and he did it a bunch of times then one day he came to me and said it just all came togeather ,, he got it..

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    Gunco Member Turrican's Avatar
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    I have a couple questions. Since no Hi freq does that mean no pedal? Also can you set the dwell time for the gas and how does that work without a pedal? I may get one of these myself. You have made me interested. I already have a couple of bottles and a gauge for argon.

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    Administrator pirate56's Avatar
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    It is scratch start, no pedal. it has auto start for the gas and about a 15 second post purge. It welds good, a nice steady clean arc. You can't beat it for the money.

  7. #7
    Gunco Member Machinist's Avatar
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    Hotbarrel, Could you use CO2 gas instead of argon? Also what do yo think of the cart at HF? 131-3VGA MIG WELDER CART $39.99


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    Gunco Irregular Grendeljaeger's Avatar
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    I picked one up but still haven't bought a bottle for the Argon. Are there any
    good videos on tig welding anyone could recomend?? My wife is more excited about this than I am!! (lucky guy huh? )
    Gunco member #11


    “it is dangerous to be right in matters about which the established authorities are wrong” Voltaire

  9. #9
    hotbarrel's Avatar
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    yes that looks like a nice cart. big enough for everything to be organized. remember the actual machine is not all that big.
    no I do not think co2 will work out for you . I never tried it but I think it would burn the part. the O molicule would be trouble, argon is totaly inert. maby nitrogen ?? I dont know

  10. #10
    Administrator pirate56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machinist
    Hotbarrel, Could you use CO2 gas instead of argon? Also what do yo think of the cart at HF? 131-3VGA MIG WELDER CART $39.99


    You need an INERT gas, the only ones there are are argon, xenon, neon and krypyon, the so called NOBLE Gasses. The whole purpose of using an inert gas is to shield the electrode and weld from oxygen.

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